Amitava Nag's Blog
Mrinal Sen is one of the leading filmmakers of India. His films deal with poverty and other uncomfortable truths that plague India, probably a reason why his films have been less discussed and watched as well. Veteran film scholar Siladitya Sen’s book Mrinal Sen-er Filmyatra explores the journey of the filmmaker through the decades. A Silhouette...
With the expanse of digital technologies and internet there is a lot of data for every individual - be it taste, behavioral pattern or even social sentiment. This 'big' data is harnessed by companies as customer targeting has reached a new aggression. Cinema not only gets changed continuously with respect to the format and projection technologies but...
Anindya Chatterjee’s third feature film Manojder Adbhut Bari is a delightful children’s comedy which does justice to the superb humour and wit inherent in Sirshendu Mukherjee’s original text with the same name. An ensemble cast where each character seems a little weird, the film brings a whiff of fresh air into our boring and mundane...
Filmmakers have often relied on gore as a mode to make the audience uncomfortable with our very own physiology. Amitava and Shiladitya dig deeper into this genre.
A particular film has often achieved an iconic status in which the lead of the film has used her/his eyes, for instance Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, or our every Om Puri in Ardh Satya. Eyes, indeed, convey a gamut of emotions that move beyond the coyness of just doe eyed stars. This essay explores the different ways...
Soukarya Ghosal’s latest Bengali film Rainbow Jelly raises hopes and questions, a welcome relief from the clutter of films that are unrealistic and unnecessarily didactic.
Atanu Ghosh’s Mayurakshi weaves a sensitive portrayal of an aged and ailing father and his son who comes to meet him from the USA. The father ceases to communicate with the world around him and the son is torn between memories and the present situation which is a reality in present day urban India. A Silhouette review.
Manas Mukul Pal's debut feature Sahaj Pather Gappo released in September 2017 is quite different from the popular or even the parallel trends in Bengali cinema. It is refreshingly different in spite of its weaknesses. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag writes a critique (but not a review) drawing parallels with a Tamil film Kaaka Muttai which...
‘I Consider Woman at the Window a Path-breaking Effort’ – In Conversation With Film Critic Shoma A Chatterji
Veteran film critic Shoma A Chatterji has more than 20 books to her credit in a career spanning more than 40 years. Famous for her tongue-in-cheek candid responses, Chatterji is a friend and well-wisher of Silhouette Magazine. Editor Amitava Nag catches up with the two-time National award winner film scholar.
Bikas Ranjan Mishra's Pagla Ghoda (adapted from Badal Sircar's famous play with the same name) holds a mirror for us to reflect. The film which is available on Hotstar depicts four men in a crematorium reminiscing about their unyielding love interests when an unknown girl was burning in the pyre. In the two hours that unfold, the film portrays...
Abesh Das has written a Bengali book on Tapan Sinha’s oeuvre of unique cinema named Tapan Sinha – Sarbik Chalachchitra Bikhha. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag speaks to the author to explore what inspired him to write this book and to find out the distinct features of Sinha’s films.
Om Puri passed away on 6 January 2017 after four decades of acting. One of the pioneer faces of the Indian ‘parallel’ cinema movement of the 70s and 80s, Om Puri later on shifted to international cinema and remained a forceful actor till his last. A Silhouette tribute.
The recently concluded Kolkata International Film Festival threw up a few interesting films including Katarina Zrinka Matijevic’s The Trampoline, Maria Govan’s Play the Devil, Kim Ki Duk’s Net and Kristina Grozeva-Petar Valchanov’s Glory among others. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag finds the use of eyes in these films to be affecting. They seem...
Curated by film-maker Umesh Kulkarni, the Dharamshala International Film Festival 2016 (DIFF 2016) presents to the audience an eclectic mix of short films. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag peeks into a few of the Indian ones which are diverse and breath-taking, in equal proportions.
Andrzej Wajda is one of the leading film directors of the world and probably the most prominent Polish one along with the likes of Krzysztof Zanussi, Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieślowski among others. Winner of the lifetime award at the Academy Awards (Oscar) in 2000, Wajda also won several prestigious ones including BAFTA award for Danton,...
5th Dharamshala International Film Festival 2016 will take place from 3 to 6 November 2016 in the beautiful mountain town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala.
This was no traditional screenplay. Satyajit Ray 'drew' the script of his first film Pather Panchali in a sketch book, using the sketches as a visual guide when he started shooting eventually. The Pather Panchali Sketchbook recently published by Harper Collins Publishers India in association with the Satyajit Ray Society was launched...
‘One Day Will Come When Indie Films Will Stand in the Same Position with Other Bollywood Hindi Cinema’: Tanima Bhattacharya
Tanima Bhattacharya is an actress whose first film Saankal (Shackle) have got rave reviews at the different film festivals across the world. She is also the Director's Assistant and Executive Producer of PISCEANN PICTURES who produced Saankal. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag interviews this young talent.
‘The Film (Capital I) was Meant to Disturb the Ones in Comfort, and Comfort the Ones Who are Disturbed’: Amartya Bhattacharyya
Amartya Bhattacharyya is a young and independent film maker of India. All of Amartya's films, poems and other works are dark, mostly surreal, and psychoanalytic in nature. He names the genre of his films as 'Phychodrama'. Silhouette editor Amitava Nag interviews this young talent.
This is not a biography since Soumitra himself doesn’t believe in one as he mentions in his note on the book. It is also not a comprehensive analysis of Soumitra’s work; rather it is an introduction to twenty of his most favourite roles, as selected by him, along with an attempt to showcase the many sides of an incomparable artist. It was tough...
Suchitra Sen mirrored the independent woman – much earlier than the true feminist waves lapped on the Indian shores. A beautiful woman whose inner strength emanated into an eternal glow – is probably the best way to understand how the media of her times could judge her and in turn portray her. A Silhouette tribute.
The Dharamshala International Film Festival better known as DIFF will be held in McLeod Ganj from the 5-8 November 2015. The annual festival will enter its fourth year this time – a curtain raiser.
Srijit Mukherjee’s latest film Rajkahini traces back to history and narrates one of the many gruesome incidents that had happened during the Parition of Bengal in 1947. A drama of epic proportion, this review finds out the high and low points in the film.
Osianama’s cinematic retrospective of Adoor Gopalakrishnan from Friday 18th till Thursday 24th, 2015 is one of the most important things that could have happened in Mumbai in 2015.
The Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives commemorated 60 years of Pather Panchali with a seminar. A report on the star-studded event,
The Paradine Case is one of the least discussed films of Alfred Hitchcock. Yet it makes a very interesting viewing due to the characters’ obsession with love.
Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman both passed away on July 30, 2007 in the span of a few hours. Silhouette pays a tribute on their death anniversary.
Uttam Kumar remains the biggest hero of Bengali cinema till date – a ‘Maha nayak’. 35 years after his death, his shadow still looms large on an industry which had a golden past but is now reeling under poverty – both intellectual and financial.
Rajesh Khanna, the first ‘superstar’ of Hindi cinema had passed away on July 18, 2012. Is the maverick star who lived lonely for many years still important? A Silhouette tribute.
Chhabi Biswas was truly the first international actor of Indian cinema – an actor for whom probably no laurel is worth enough. Silhouette Magazine pays tribute to this legendary charismatic actor on his birth anniversary today.
Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Asa Jaoar Majhe (Labour of love) is an exceptional film – not because it doesn’t have any dialogues, but more so since it treads a different path. It is a poignant love story where the man and woman spend time separately and meet only once a day as if in a dream.
The film brought its fictional tension in the form of Turing’s alleged espionage links – which helped to intensify the drama and probably to bring him out as a man of integrity apart from having a scientific mind beyond excellence.
Salaam Cinema is more of a “personal” tribute to a few legendary figures of Indian Cinema. The exhibition will display some rare photographs though these are not presented in any historically chronological manner.
In a strange way Rituparno’s positioning in the Bengali cultural space has similarities and parallel with two most revered Bengali film-makers of all times – Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. A tribute on the death anniversary of this path-breaking filmmaker.
Soumitra narrowed his focus on Ray’s handling of actors – how awe-inspiring it was to find that he would probably never cast someone who doesn’t seem fit for the role apart from a very few deviations.
Southwest (Sudoeste, 2012) is an unusual film on multiple grounds – it was a project which materialized after 13 years of its inception, the film uses extreme wide aspect ratio and talks of a non-existent land. The director Eduardo Nunes visited the Kolkata in Nov 2013 and presented the film at the 19th Kolkata Film Festival, 2013....
To Rituparno Ghosh’s credit he brought a section of the Bengali audience back to the cinema halls – to me this is his greatest contribution to Bengali cinema and any history of it will remain largely incomplete unless this due tribute is paid to him.
We need to look back and deep into the cinema of ours - with pride and reverence. The medium is developed and sharpened by the West but we use it to tell our story. The Indian film theory should emerge hence.
"It’s in a way interesting and in many ways sad that Bollywood has dominated every aspect of culture in this country in the last two decades especially."